The El Sauz project is a 300MW onshore wind power plant under construction in Texas, US. It was previously known as the El Sauz Ranch power project.
The project is owned by JERA Americas, a Houston-based subsidiary of global energy company JERA. It is being developed by JERA Renewables, which was established in 2020 as part of JERA Americas to develop renewable energy projects in the US.
Apex Clean Energy was the initial developer of the project and JERA Americas acquired it from Apex Clean Energy Finance in December 2021.
Construction works on the wind power project were commenced in January 2022 and the equipment required for the project was shipped in April of the same year.
The installation of the turbines is expected to take place in the summer of 2022 and the wind power generation facility is anticipated to start operations by the fourth quarter of 2022.
At full output, the El Sauz onshore wind power project is estimated to generate enough electricity to power approximately 240,000 households. It is part of JERA’s goal to expand its renewable energy capacity to 5GW by 2025. JERA Renewables is expected to contribute approximately 2GW to the targeted capacity.
The El Sauz onshore wind power project is located in Willacy County, near Raymondville city, south of the Texas state in the US.
El Sauz onshore wind power project details
The El Sauz onshore wind power project will feature 67 Nordex-supplied N155/4.X wind turbines, each designed to operate at a rated power output of 4.5MW.
The N155/4.X turbine variant is built on the certified architecture of the Delta4000 series consisting of a glass-fibre rotor and a different hub design to optimise the performance. The operating features of the turbine include a cut-in wind speed of three metres per second (m/s) and a cut-out wind speed of 25m/s.
With a hub height of up to 120m, the turbine has a swept area of about 18,869 square metres (m2) with a rated rotational speed of 11 revolutions per minute (rpm).
The other components of the project will include transmission and interconnection infrastructure, operation and maintenance building, roads, an electrical substation consisting of power transformers, associated circuit breakers, switches, reactive power compensation equipment, and a control building.
The electricity generated from the El Sauz onshore wind power project will be evacuated through a 345kV power transmission line.
Power purchase agreement
Fully interconnected with the American Electric Power of Texas, the energy produced from the onshore wind park will be sold under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
JERA secured $459.8m in senior secured credit facilities to meet the capital requirements of the El Sauz onshore wind power project in January 2022.
The financing consisted of a £298m ($399.7m) construction facility, £42m ($56m) letter of credits, and £3m ($4.1m) working capital facility.
German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex Group was contracted to manufacture and supply wind turbines for the El Sauz onshore power project in December 2021. The scope of the contract also included the provision of services for the turbines for about five years.
Wanzek Construction was engaged as the contractor to deliver balance of plant (BOP) services for the project.
Barranquesa, a company engaged in the manufacturing of flanges and rings, was contracted by Nordex for the supply of foundation flanges for the wind towers in January 2022.
International law firm McDermott Will & Emery acted as the legal counsel for Apex Clean Energy in the sale of the El Sauz power project.
KeyBanc Capital Markets (KBCM) served as a joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner for JERA in securing financing for the project.